The National Infrastructure Strategy sets out plans to transform UK infrastructure in order to level up the country, strengthen the Union and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
HM Treasury 25th Nov 2020 read more »
A new infrastructure bank, to be based in the north of England, and an emissions-trading scheme covering large portions of industry were proclaimed by Rishi Sunak as evidence that the government is aligning its aim of rescuing the UK economy from the Covid-19 slump with its goal of cutting emissions to net zero by 2050. But for the most part, experts said the chancellor’s spending review and infrastructure strategy failed to give the kickstart to the green recovery that economists have been advising and green campaigners have urged. Of the £100bn to be invested in the UK’s infrastructure, only a fraction seems destined to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while large portions of the spending are in danger of locking in high emissions far into the future. Road-building schemes will account for £27bn, and while housebuilding is a key aim there are few safeguards to ensure new houses will be zero-carbon. There is also little to guarantee that the £4bn “levelling-up fund” will avoid propping up the high-carbon economy.
Guardian 25th Nov 2020 read more »
The UK chancellor’s Spending Review has been accused of undermining the prime minister’s “green” vision by pushing ahead with a £27bn roads programme. The union boss Manuel Cortes general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) accused the government of “abandoning all pretence of ambition over decarbonisation”. He said: “The Spending Review was a moment to unleash the green economic revolution, but Sunak failed. “Instead of grasping the nettle and resetting our country on an economic course based around green jobs and investment – we had barely a mention on the climate crisis we face.” Pedro Guertler, from E3G said: “The chancellor has confirmed vital extra funding for greening buildings next year but missed the opportunity to set out multi-year funding which is so desperately needed to give the supply chain the confidence to invest.”
BBC 26th Nov 2020 read more »
Edie 25th Nov 2020 read more »
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a wealth of net zero funding in his Spending Review. The new spending plan includes a total budget of £23.5 billion for the Department for Transport and in particular for rail, roads, buses, cycling infrastructure and the decarbonisation of transport. Nearly £1.9 billion will be spent on electric vehicle infrastructure and grants for zero and ultra-low emissions vehicles. A total of £17.5 billion will be mobilised on the upgrade of the rail network and HS2 will secure £22 billion in funding. A further £120 million will be invested for more than 500 zero-emission buses while cycling infrastructure will benefit from £257 million grant. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will attract a total budget of £18 billion. The budget includes £3 billion to help the UK reach net zero and £11.1 billion for research and development and innovation projects. The new plan laid out by the UK government also increases the budget for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by almost £1 billion – nearly £92 million are committed to supporting planting 30,000 hectares of trees every year by 2025. A further £5.2 billion will also be spent for flood defence programme, which is predicted to protect 366,000 properties. In addition, £75 million will also support National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Future Net Zero 25th Nov 2020 read more »
There was good news for the fast expanding electric vehicle (EV) sector, with the government confirming plans to invest £950m to support the rollout of rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging hubs at every service station on England’s motorways and major A-roads and announcing a one year extension to the Plug-in Car, Van, Taxi, and Motorcycle Grant schemes through to 2022-23 backed by £582m of funding. In addition, the Treasury announced £275m of funding to extend support for charge point installation at homes, workplaces and on-street locations, while also revealing plans to reform these schemes so they target challenging parts of the market, such as leaseholders and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Chancellor’s speech contained no major new green announcements, following last week’s unveiling of the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, which was backed by £12bn of funding, including around £4bn of new spending commitments. However, he reiterated the government’s commitment to a green recovery, highlighting increased investment in broadband and mobile coverage, upgraded railways, new cycle lanes, and over 800 zero emission buses, while also touting the “biggest ever investment in new roads”. Separately, the Treasury today published its long-awaited National Infrastructure Strategy, which similarly reiterated the government’s commitment to its net zero strategy and set out a timetable for the release of a host of new policy documents designed to accelerate investment in new green infrastructure, including the imminent Energy White Paper, Hydrogen Strategy, Transport Decarbonisation Plan, and Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy. Shaun Spiers, executive director at think tank Green Alliance, said the Chancellor’s speech “gave no sense that he understands the scale of the climate and nature emergencies, or the potential of the green economy for immediate job creation across the country”. Nick Molho of the Aldersgate Group of businesses welcomed the introduction of a new National Infrastructure Bank, but warned that the government needed to provide more detail on its decarbonisation policies on multiple fronts. “We welcome the creation of a national infrastructure bank and would urge that the net zero target, the Environment Bill targets and the levelling up agenda are all central to its mandate,” he said. “To be effective and crowd in private investment at scale, such a bank will also need to be sufficiently well capitalised, with recent analysis commissioned by the Aldersgate Group recommending £20bn paid in capital over 4 years… A key task for the government in the near future will be to introduce new regulations and market mechanisms to drive private low carbon investment in critical areas such as buildings, heavy industry and nature restoration.”
Business Green 25th Nov 2020 read more »
BusinessGreen rounds up all the main green policies, commitments, and investment pledges in the Spending Review: A new UK National Infrastructure Bank; Cuts to the UK’s overseas aid budget; EV charging hubs at every service station; But lots of road building too; Investment in local infrastructure; Modest wins for the natural environment; A boost in funding for innovation; Investment in net zero homes; Net zero guidance for Treasury decisions; Possible ‘net zero duty’ for regulators; Scant mention of the climate emergency.
Business Green 25th Nov 2020 read more »